Glossary

A

• Abrasion – An abrasion on a diamond occurs when small nicks are present along the facet junctions. These nicks produce blurred white lines instead of sharp crisp edges.

• Alexandrite – Alexandrite is a rare gemstone from the Chrysoberyl variety which was first discovered in 1834 in Russia. Alexandrite varies in colour dramatically in different lighting and can vary in colour from emerald green to raspberry red.

• Amethyst – Amethyst is a precious gemstone which can vary in colour from light pink to deep purple. Amethyst is part of the quartz family and in ancient Greek times was believed to protect against intoxication. In comparison to other precious stones Amethyst is fairly inexpensive, however, dependant on the colour of the stone amethyst is still a fairly desirable stone.

• Aquamarine – Aquamarine is a mineral of the beryl variety and its name is derived from the Latin phrase “water of the sea”. Aquamarine can vary in colour from blue to pale green, the deeper the blue the more expensive and desirable the stone is. As with most minerals Aquamarine can be heated to produce a more desirable colour and the majority of aquamarine sold today has been subject to this treatment.

• Asscher Cut Diamonds – The Asscher cut diamond is a square shaped diamond similar to the emerald cut, however the deep cut corners present on an Asscher cut stone make the diamond perfectly square with a shape similar to an octagon. The Asscher cut diamond is named after its founders, the Asscher Brothers, and each diamond is exclusively patented and are only produced by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company based in the USA.

• Amber - Amber is an organic gemstone, which is the fossilized resin of pine trees. Amber can age from 20 to 60 million years old dependant on source. In ancient Greek times Amber was named elektron due to the static electricity which can be produced from the stone. The words ‘electron’ and ‘electricity’ were derived from this name. Amber is usually found in honey-like colours and can vary from golden yellow to red to brown. However, some varieties of amber can range from white through to almost black.

B

• Baguette Cut Diamonds - The Baguette shape diamond most closely resembles an emerald cut but is much smaller in size and is available in both straight and tapered shapes.

• Baroque Pearls – Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular shape which can appear slightly oval as opposed to spherical. Freshwater pearls tend to be baroque pearls.

• Black Cultured Pearls - Black cultured pearls come from a variety of sources. The rarest are found in large oysters in the South Seas. These oysters create large, silvery grey to black pearls and further overtones can also be found within the pearl, including peacock green which can be extremely valuable. As the South Seas black cultured pearls are so rare, enhanced black cultured pearls are often used as an alternative. These are dyed using a process called "French dying", which produces a strong colour that lasts for years.

• Beryl - There are several varieties of Beryl, for example emerald and aquamarine are both part of this family of stones. Beryl jewellery should be treated with greater care than other, tougher stones such as diamond, and excessive heat should be avoided. The mounts should be of good quality, such as eighteen carat gold or platinum.

• Birthstones – Over time a tradition has developed of associating gemstones with times and months of the year. This tradition became most popular in the 18th Century and in 1937 an official list was developed by Britain’s National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) that is now internationally recognised. The list is as follows:

January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine or Bloodstone
April – White topaz or Diamond
May – Emerald
June – Pearl or Moonstone
July – Ruby
August – Peridot
September – Sapphire
October – Opal
November – Citrine or Topaz
December – Blue Topaz or Turquoise


• Blood Diamonds – Blood diamonds also known as conflict diamonds are diamonds which are mined in a war zone and traded illegally to fund conflict. The adoption of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme by the diamond industry has helped to eliminate the trading of conflict diamonds. Any diamonds which are transported must be accompanied by a Kimberly Process Certificate to prove that the diamonds are government validated. At McSorley’s Wedding Ring Shop we guarantee that any diamonds we supply have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and are in compliance with UN regulations.

• Brilliant Cut Diamonds – The brilliant cut diamond is a round, cone shaped diamond and is by far the most popular and most researched diamond shape. The stone is cut in such a way as to produce numerous reflecting facets which produces an exceptional brilliance within the stone. Due to the cone shape of the diamond there is maximal light reflection through the top of the diamond which again adds to the brilliance of the stone.

C

• Clarity - Clarity is one of the Four C’s along with Cut, Colour and Carat which help to classify diamonds. Clarity is graded based on inclusions or flaws found within the stone. Every diamond will contain some flaws which make each diamond unique. The number and size of these flaws found within a stone will affect the clarity.

• Coloured Diamonds – Coloured diamonds are less popular than the clear diamonds which are commonly used in jewellery today, however, although they are not as popular, coloured diamonds are far more rare and expensive. Examples of coloured diamonds include:

o Black Diamonds

Black diamond’s have been around for a long time and are a natural opaque stone mined originally in Brazil. The black diamond is probably one of the least attractive of the coloured diamonds, however, recent promotion of the stone has increased interest and most black diamonds are currently been sold at very high prices.

o Blue Diamonds
The blue diamond is very rare and therefore makes this stone one of the most expensive and sought after coloured diamonds. One of the best examples of a blue diamond is The Hope Diamond which is currently on show in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, this is the largest and most famous blue diamond in the world.

o Champagne Diamonds
Champagne diamonds are brownish diamonds which are naturally occurring diamonds which are not enhanced like some of the other coloured diamonds. Again these diamonds are very rare and can be very attractive.

o Canary Diamonds
Canary Diamonds as the name suggests are very rare and exquisite yellow diamonds. Canary diamonds were originally mined in South Africa and the very first stone discovered in 1866 was named the Eureka diamond.

o Pink Diamonds
Most natural pink diamonds today are mined in north-western Australia and are again very rare and expensive coloured diamonds.

• Coral – Coral is a gemstone which is derived from the precious or red coral marine organism which secretes calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate forms a hard skeleton which is then used for the coral gemstone.

• Cushion Cut Diamonds – The cushion cut is an antique cut of diamond which was common in the 19th and 20th century. This cut of diamond although not as brilliant as most of the more modern cuts certainly stands out as a more classic and romantic cut of diamond.

• Culet – The culet is the point located at the bottom of a diamond. This point can sometimes be polished into a flat facet to ensure the tip is not damaged or chipped. Most culets are not visible to the naked eye, however, the size of the culet should be detailed on the certificate provided with the diamond. Most diamonds these days have no or a very small culet as the ring mount usually protects the point of the diamond from any damage.

• Carat (ct) – Carat is one of the Four C’s along with Cut, Colour and Clarity which help to classify diamonds. The carat of a diamond is the weight of the diamond and is not to be confused with size. A diamond may look smaller, however, the weight may be greater which would therefore increase the carat weight of the stone.

• Cluster Setting – A cluster setting consists of a central stone surrounded by many smaller stones.

• Cultured Pearls – Cultured pearls are formed when a piece of spherical material is inserted into an oyster. This piece of material ensures that the pearl produced is spherical as opposed to the irregular that can be formed when sand or parasites become trapped within the pearl, these irregular shaped pearls are known as “baroque”. In cultured pearls the oyster produces a crystalline material known as nacre and deposits this around the spherical material. Pearls may take years to form and the longer the pearl remain in the oyster the bigger and therefore more expensive the pearl will be. Where the oysters are cultured and what type of water they are cultured in can produce cultured pearls of different sizes, qualities and colours.

There are 5 different qualities when assessing cultured pearls:

Luster and orient
Luster relates to the reflections on the surface of the pearl, the more intense and sharp the reflections are the higher the luster. The iridescent colours seen within the pearl is known as the orient. The greater the orient and luster of a pearl increases the value of the pearl.

Colour
Pearls can be dyed to any shade but the colour usually describes the main colour of the pearl which tends to be white, black or yellow.

Cleanliness
Any pearls either natural or cultured will contain imperfections on the surface. The number of these imperfections and how noticeable they are will affect the price of the pearl.

Shape
The more spherical a pearl is the more expensive it becomes. Most pearls do however have small imperfections in the shape but as long as these imperfections are symmetrical these pearls are still desirable.

Size
Cultured pearls are measured in millimetres and the larger the pearl the greater the cost. when considering pearl jewellery you should look for pearls with similar properties, for example, pearls with similar colour, luster, orient and size. The closer the match of the pearls is the higher the price.

• Carbochon – A polished oval gemstone.

• Certification – If a diamond is certified it will be supplied along with a certificate which will guarantee the quality and specifications of the diamond you have chosen. You will tend to pay more for a certified diamond.

• Citrine – Citrine is a form of quartz which is yellow or golden in colour.

• Colour - Colour is one of the Four C’s along with Cut, Clarity and Carat which help to classify diamonds. Colour is graded from D through to Z colour with Z been the purest. Diamonds that are mined range from yellow to totally colourless and the more pure the stone is the greater the cost.

• Conflict diamonds – Conflict diamonds also known as blood diamonds are diamonds which are mined in a war zone and traded illegally to fund conflict. The adoption of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme by the diamond industry has helped to eliminate the trading of conflict diamonds. Any diamonds which are transported must be accompanied by a Kimberly Process Certificate to prove that the diamonds are government validated. At McSorley’s Wedding Ring Shop we guarantee that any diamonds we supply have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and are in compliance with UN regulations.

• Cut - Cut is one of the Four C’s along with Colour, Clarity and Carat which help to classify diamonds. There are many different cuts of diamond and the better the cut the greater the cost. A diamond should be cut with good proportions to allow maximum sparkle and brilliance.

D

• Diamond – Diamonds are naturally occurring stones which are formed by exposing carbon to extreme pressure and heat. Diamond is the hardest material and earth and has many uses not just in the jewellery industry.

E

• Emerald Cut Diamonds – Originally a method for cutting Emeralds the emerald cut is rectangular in shape with broad step like facets. The emerald cut and has a large flat surface, also known as the table, which enhances the clarity of the diamond.

• Emerald – Is a variety of beryl and is green in colour. Emeralds are highly desirable stones and the deeper and richer the colour the more valuable they become.

• Engagement rings – Engagement rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand and are usually given to signify the intention to be married.

F

• Facets – Are the faces on a diamond which determine its shape and cut.

• Feather – A feather in a diamond is a type of inclusion within the stone. In a stone of good clarity a feather can sometimes be difficult to see.

• Fresh water Pearls – are predominantly cultured in China in freshwater mollusks. These mollusks produce pearls with a variety of different shapes from spherical to button shape.

• Fire Opal – Is primarily found in Mexico and is a bright orange gemstone.

• Four C’s – The four C’s are Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat and determine certain characteristics regarding diamonds.

• Flaw – A flaw can appear either on the surface or within a diamond and can reduce the clarity of a diamond.

• Fracture – Is a crack which occurs within a diamond and is visible when held up to the light.

G

• Garnet – Is a dark red gemstone which occurs naturally. Other varieties of garnet can be brown, green and yellow.

• Girdle – The girdle is a thin band which surrounds a diamond at its widest point and is situated between the crown and the pavilion.

• Graduated Mount – Is a ring set with 3 or more stones. The outermost diamonds are the smallest and gradually increase in size towards the centre stone.

• Gemstones – Gemstones are minerals which are polished and can be used in jewellery. Gemstones can be precious or semi-precious materials.

• Gold Plating – Gold plating involves placing a thin layer of gold over the surface of another metal. The gold plating can be affixed chemically or via electrochemical means.

H

• Haematite – Is a form of iron oxide and is used in jewellery in its hardest and most compact form. Most forms of haematite are black in colour.

• Heart Cut Diamonds – As the name suggests are diamonds which are cut into the shape of a heart. This cut of diamond can be considered to be the most romantic of cuts and produces excellent sparkle and brilliance.

I

• Inclusions – inclusions are imperfections that are found within a diamond. Most inclusions cannot be located with the naked eye but dependant on the number and severity of the imperfections these are usually visible immediately with the aid on an eyeglass. Inclusions within a diamond can affect the clarity of the stone.

J

• Jade – Jade is a green gemstone which is usually found in two forms, Nephrite and Jadeite.

• Jet – Jet is a black organic gemstone originally formed from driftwood. When subjected to high heat and pressure jet is then formed.

K

• Kimberly Process, The – The Kimberly Process is a process which certifies the origin of rough diamonds to ensure they are not sourced from areas of conflict. The Kimberley process was designed to stop the trading of ‘conflict diamonds’ and ensuring that these diamonds do not enter the mainstream market.

M

• Marquise Cut Diamonds – A marquise shaped stone is a long multi faceted stone with pointed ends.

• Marcasite – Marcasite is a gemstone derived from iron sulphide and is a pale bronze or silvery in colour.

• Moissanite – Is similar to cubic zirconia and aims to overtake this stone as the most popular lookalike for diamond.

O

• Onyx – Onyx is a black gemstone of the chalcedony variety used in a wide range of different jewellery.

• Opal – Opal is an iridescent gemstone which is mostly associated with the month of October. Opal is generally a white stone but has flashes of iridescent colours which makes this stone one of the most varied gemstones in the world.

• Oval Cut Diamonds – The oval cut diamond is a similar cut to the brilliant cut, it has the same sparkle and brilliance but is more oval in shape.

P

• Pave Setting – The pave setting is a number of diamonds which are set close together covering the surface onto which they are mounted much like the blocks of a pavement.

• Platinum
– Platinum is the most popular and at the moment the most expensive metal for jewellery. Platinum is silver is colour and is a very durable metal.

• Princess Cut Diamonds – Princess cut diamonds are usually square in shape and this shape is the second most popular after brilliant cut.

• Pavilion – The pavilion on a diamond is located in between the girdle and the culet and is the lower part on a diamond.

• Pear Cut Diamonds – Pear cut diamonds are sometimes referred to as teardrop diamonds due to the shape of this diamond. The pear cut is a mixture of round brilliant and marquise.

R

• Radiant Cut Diamonds – Radiant cut diamonds is are often square or rectangular in shape and has over 70 facets which contribute to its excellent brilliance.

• Ruby – Rubies are precious gemstones which are red in colour, the more intense the colour is the more desirable the stone becomes.

• Ring Setting – There are many different ring settings available and the term ring setting is used to describe the head of the ring where the stone will sit.
• Rough Diamonds – Rough diamonds are the natural, uncut, unpolished form of diamonds.

• Ring Sizing – Ring sizes are measured in millimetres and assigned a letter to signify the size. The diameter of the finger and the size of the knuckle need to be taken into consideration when deciding on the ring size.

• Rub Over Setting – This type of setting surrounds the diamond fully and follows the shape of the mount.

S

• Sapphire – Sapphires are precious gemstones which are blue in colour, the more intense the colour is the more desirable the stone becomes.

• Solitaire – From the word solitary, solitaire is the term given to a stone mounted alone on a piece of jewellery.

• Setting – Refers to how a stone is set into a piece of jewellery, there are many different types of setting available to best suit the size and shape of the stone.

T

• Titanium – Titanium is usually used to make high quality watches and watch bracelets, however, it is now increasingly been used in jewellery. Titanium is a light weight but extremely strong metal.

• Trillion Cut Diamonds – Trillion cut diamonds are triangular in shape and are one of the most unusual cuts of diamond.

• Tourmaline – Tourmaline is a gemstone which can be a variety of different colours but predominantly green. Large pieces of tourmaline are often more common and are used for large pieces of jewellery.

• Turquoise – Turquoise is precious blue gemstone often containing lines of brown and black. Turquoise is often used in jewellery and it cut and shaped into beads.

• Tanzanite – Tanzanite is a fairly new gemstone and is a gemstone of a blue or purple colour.

• Topaz – Topaz is a rare gemstone which is yellow to golden in colour. Topaz is often seen as a blue stone but the majority of the jewellery manufactured with this stone has been chemically enhanced.

V

• Voucher - Goldsmiths, Beaverbrooks, Ernest Jones, Berry’s and Smooch are all well know highstreet names in Leeds. Have you seen wedding ring or diamond ring anywhere be it on the high street or on a UK website? Whether it be Platinum, Palladium, White or Yellow Gold or Diamond Set just tell us and we will maake or obtain the same wedding ring.

W

• Weight – The weight of a diamond is measured in carats (ct).

Z

• Zicornia, Cubic – Cubic zirconia is the most popular and most manufactured lookalike for diamond and high quality CZ jewellery can sometimes be difficult to distinguish with the naked eye.
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